We often hear about accidents because of the desire to capture moments for social media. It seems that the world has revolved around the virtual connections we establish while social media platforms compete to engage their users.
A Recent Accident Involving Snapchat
An accident that happened on May 4, 2021, reveals that three young men crashed against a tree while speeding in a vehicle. The purpose of the three young men performing the stunt was to try out one of Snapchat’s filters. This filter allegedly shows the actual speed of the vehicle people are driving.
The three parents believe that Snapchat is to blame for the accident, as young people are enticed to show off their speeds on the social media platform. Many victims are powerless against tech giants, but surprisingly, the court revealed that the parents have the right to file a civil lawsuit because of the app’s design.
Civil litigation law firm Faruqi & Faruqi LLP believes that the justice system is headed in the right direction because of this decision. This article explains the implications that could happen as the public will gain the power to file civil lawsuits against social media giants.
Justice for Personal Injury Victims and Survivors
Most personal injury victims and survivors settle with little to no compensation for the accidents that have happened due to social media participation. While this has been going on for the most part since the advent of social media, this single 2021 case can give that one step closer to justice for the three young victims and future victims and survivors.
Faruqi & Faruqi LLP explains that social media platforms have the legal protection that would cover them if some parties decide to file a lawsuit. However, it is a powerful fact to discover that people who are harmed because of the app’s design will finally be given justice.
Rethinking the design of Social Media
Many accidents relating to social media are because of trends and challenges gone wrong. These are often user-generated ideas and content that encourage people, especially the young, to show impressive feats on photos and videos.
Sadly, the design of social media turning interactions into a popularity contest has been the core of accidents due to the trends and challenges posed. Social media giants now should have the moment to rethink the design of their apps, eliminating the content that encourages dangerous behavior while keeping genuine interactions.
Some areas of improvement include:
- Medico-legal teams reviewing the content of social media features: Faruqi & Faruqi LLP explains that experts should have a verdict on the design and features of the application that may be a blind spot for other developers. This step could help prevent future accidents and also protect the tech companies.
- Gathering opinions: When trends and challenges become viral, it is often only among a certain demographic and not within the sweeping social media population. Thus, it is essential to gather opinions of other demographics unaffected by social media features, trends, and challenges if they pose physical, mental, or emotional threats to a certain group.
- Immediate and continuous refinement: With the help of experts, social media apps should provide reminders to users about the core intent of their use. The immediate and constant advancement of developers should always occur not just to encourage social media use but also to provide the utmost safety of users.
Awareness Among People on Social Media
Some victims cannot speak out because they believe that they have no power against social media giants through a civil lawsuit. This current step brings new hope even to past victims and increased awareness of how social media trends can go wrong.
Parents can remind children about the implications of participating in filters, challenges, or trends within these social media platforms. Some trends are designed to pose a threat in someone’s life for popularity’s sake, and even if it is present in social media, this does not necessarily mean that it has passed safety reviews.
People can also take a step back and evaluate the things they do on social media. More than a physical issue, it is also about the inner workings of our hearts and minds and how we use technology that shapes our lives. It brings awareness about why we use social media and how we should teach others about safety and genuine connections.
Other Tech that Encourages Safety
As the recent case about the Snapchat accident reveals that victims can have an increased odds on a Supreme Court Ruling, other tech inventors would be forced to rethink apps, gadgets, and other ventures that would promote safety and positive behavior.
Social media has been the brunt of discussion regarding mental health issues, criminal activity, and personal injury accidents, as the incident mentioned above. It is high time that people who create should be more mindful of how they design their inventions to promote safety and positive behaviors.
There must be a better consideration for people’s mental well-being, personal safety, and upholding values, especially to impressionable groups that such platforms may easily influence.
Hope Amidst A Tragedy: Justice and Change
Faruqi & Faruqi LLP believes that the recent horrific accident will hopefully bring about positive change in how personal injury victims are treated when incidents involve social media platform giants. Hopefully, this tragedy will encourage victims to come forward while posing a challenge for social media platforms to rethink their design for the safety and well-being of their users.